I have six years of experience working with students who live with Asperger’s syndrome who have varied in ages from 5 years old to 22 years old. I began by working in a second grade classroom for students who were on the autism spectrum as an intervention specialist. This was a special day class setting where I was trained in TEACCH, discrete trial, and positive behavior supports. In this class I worked with students mainly on literacy using the sight word-based EdMark program. From there I worked in an applied behavior analysis (ABA) clinic for kindergarten age students who were on the autism spectrum, the majority of whom had Asperger’s. In this program I worked under the guidance of an amazing board certified behavior analyst and I directly taught social skills, conversation skills, study skills, and behavior management skills. I also tutored two 11-year-old students who had Asperger’s one-on-one in an after school tutoring program for the same district.
I think that the main difference between a student who leans more towards the Asperger’s end of the spectrum versus a student who leans more towards classic autism is that the student with Asperger’s tend to benefit more from indirect prompting and use of tools for self-directed learning. These students tend to benefit more from direct instruction in comprehension, critical thinking and theory of mind strategies in the context of full inclusion (inclusion in general education classes and social settings where they are surrounded by same-age non-disabled peers) than from one-on-one discrete trial type work. An example of this how when I’m teaching theory of mind to students I directly teach them how to think about what the other party (author, conversation partner, instructor, etc…) is thinking through the use of highly visual tools, such as graphic organizers, that outline the clues that the other party is giving about their state of mind and their intentions through their tone, expression and other subtle behaviors. Once students have learned a concept or strategy one-on-one with me, they can then be further empowered by being taught how to generalize the skills, to be able to use them with anyone in any setting, both effectively and independently, in a highly personal and meaningful way.
I am a credentialed special education teacher who currently teaches students who live with multiple disabilities, including autism.
I currently hold an Education Specialist teaching credential for students who have moderate to severe disabilities. I teach a moderate-severe transition class for students who are ages 18-22. Prior to this, I taught a similar transition class that had students who lived with autism in Oakland Unified School District from 2009-2011. From 2006—2009 I worked with students who were on the autism spectrum in elementary school settings in a second grade autism class and in an intensive behavior intervention clinic for students living with autism who were in kindergarten. I have also tutored students who live with autism one-on-one who were ages 12-13 both privately and for a school district. I have been extensively trained in applied behavior analysis (ABA). I am also very experienced in teaching social skills and conversation skills. I use many of Michelle Garcia Winner’s strategies in her Think Social! and Social Behavior Mapping curriculums. I am very experienced in creating and implementing individualized, self-motoring, positive behavior support plans for students who have autism. I’ve been trained in multi-sensory reading assessment and instruction (Fountas & Pinnell) with an emphasis in working with students who are on the autism spectrum.
I have been trained in math instruction and I currently teach math as part of a larger curriculum for transition age youth who have special needs. I have six years of combined experience teaching elementary school. I’ve tutored math privately, one-on-one, and in classroom settings both in public and private schools and academies. I have passed the CSET and the CBEST in addition to having taken all of the coursework at SFSU in elementary school education, including math education for elementary school. I can provide a list of references upon request.
I am a RICA certified reading instructor and credentialed teacher who has passed the CBEST and CSET for multiple subjects. I have extensive training and hands-on experience using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment in reading and the Observational Survey (Mary Clay). I am highly experienced in intake, summative and formative assessments in reading. In addition to this, I have experience in teaching leveled reading, guided reading, and multi-sensory reading. I am adept at taking running records and monitoring student reading progress. I have experience in phonics, sight-word and whole-language approaches to reading instruction.
In my training and experience, I’ve found that the balanced literacy approach is the gold standard for reading instruction. This is a student-centered approach that begins with individualized assessment and instruction for the student that incorporates the best of phonics, sight-word, and whole-language approaches. I’ve used the EdMark sight words series in addition to the CSI (comprehension strategies), SRA (decoding strategies) among other reading curriculums. I’ve written and implemented many units and lesson plans in reading. I’ve given the CELDT test and have worked with many English Language Learners, having been trained in many ELL strategies. I also have extensive experience differentiating reading instruction for students with special needs.
I have taught moderate-severe special education in my own class from 2009-present. The class that I currently teach is a transition class for students ages 18-22. Prior to having my own class, I worked as a paraprofessional in a special education clinic for a school district and as an intervention specialist in a first and second grade autism class from 2007-2009. I’ve tutored students with special needs in different capacities, both privately and in school settings, from 2001-2009. I currently hold a credential to teach moderate to severe special education from San Francisco State University.
I have had extensive training and experience in all areas of special education including, but not limited to, applied behavior analysis, discrete trial training, TEACCH, physical care for students with high support needs, communication systems (creation and implementation), transition, inclusion, data tracking systems, positive behavior supports, and IEPs. I’ve worked closely with outside agencies including regional centers, department of rehabilitation and adult day programs. I have experience in special day class settings, inclusion settings, clinic settings and home settings. I’ve worked with a wide range of students who live with a variety of disabilities from mild to severe including autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Down’s syndrome, intellectual disabilities, CP, hard of hearing, and VI. I’ve also worked with students who have special physical needs who use wheelchairs, crutches and prosthetic limbs. I have an interest in expanding the use of technology with students who have special needs and I often use my Ipad and other devices to work with students. A few other areas of interest to me are communication systems for students who have high support needs in the area of speech and literacy strategies for students with severe disabilities, including those who are English Language Learners.
I am a proponent of frequent assessment (both summative and formative), written progress monitoring and tracking. I also emphasize a student-centered approach to education that engages the student as much as possible in the planning of their own education, goal setting and self-assessment of progress. I have extensive experience in ABA and positive behavior supports. I enjoy creating fun and interesting positive behavior support systems for students who have high support needs in the area of behavior. Being a special education teacher, and having worked with many other teachers (both special education and general education), I am very comfortable working in collaboration with other teachers, administrators and support staff.